Git ‘er dun. It’s good to see consequences for chronic failure. I hope that they can make swift improvements for the betterment of the kids.
Texas law authorizes the appointment of a Board of Managers based on the district’s inability to improve student achievement at its low-performing campuses. In particular, Wheatley High School earned seven consecutive unacceptable academic ratings for the school years from 2011 through 2019. For the 2021-2022 school year, Wheatley earned an acceptable academic rating, driven by an increase in the award of Microsoft Office Specialist Word certifications among graduating seniors.
However, Wheatley’s acceptable rating this year does not abrogate my prior legal requirement to intervene based on the seven consecutive unacceptable ratings that were addressed by the original Board of Managers order.
Furthermore, while Wheatley was earning seven years of unacceptable academic performance ratings, multiple other campuses received inadequate district support leading to persistently poor performance. To note one example, Kashmere High School had eight consecutive unacceptable academic ratings starting in the 2008-2009 school year. In 2016, I appointed a conservator to ensure and oversee district-level support for Kashmere. As a result of that intervention, Kashmere finally earned an acceptable academic rating for the 2018-2019 school year. However, while the
injunction was in place—which limited the authority of the previously placed conservator— Kashmere High School’s performance regressed, as it received a “Not Rated” accountability rating for the 2021-2022 school year with a scale score of 68 out of 100. To note another example, Highland Heights Elementary School has not earned an acceptable performance rating since 2011.
The district’s approach to supporting students with disabilities also continues to violate state and federal law. Starting with internal reviews going back to 2011, there has long been recognition from Houston ISD itself of problems in this area. Substantive action was not taken until a management team of conservators was appointed. Since then, Houston ISD has seen some improvements related to basic Child Find obligations. But there are still significant systemic compliance problems, including an ongoing inability to provide special education services to students without delays, which harms their academic progress